AC Association Croquet

This Tournament is an Association Croquet singles competition at held Watford and open to members of Croquet England. It is also listed in the CqE fixtures calendar.

Open Midweek AC Advanced
Tournament results by year:

Title: Watford Midweek Open AC Advanced Tournament
Handicaps: AC: 8-
Date: Wednesday 15 - Thursday 16 May
Number of places: 16
Secretary: Email: click on link to send an email
Phone: 01923 241582
Address: please ask, or log in and obtain it from the CqE member's directory
Manager: Simon Hathrell
RoT: Simon Hathrell
'A' block: the Cassiobury Cup (current holder: Nigel Polhill)
'B' block: the Cassiobury Salver (current holder: Gary Bennett)
Entries: Allocation: 17 March. Closing: 8 May.
Those who wish to enter and pay online may do so through the CqE website in same way as entering a CqE Tournament.
Alternatively, postal entries should be submitted together with entry fee using the standard CqE Tournament entry form.
Entry fee: £24 (CqE Premium members), others £36.
Pay online (see above) or by cheque to the secretary, payable to "Watford (Cassiobury) Croquet Club".
Format: Semi-flexible Swiss in one block, with a bias where practical towards matching players with handicaps above 0 together, and with the 'B' block prize going to the player with handicap above 0 with the largest net index point gain.
Lunches: A cold lunch will be provided for £5 per day.
  1. Play starts at 09:30 each day.
  2. Drinks and biscuits are provided free of charge, and a cold lunch will be available for a small fee.
  3. Details of parking and other arrangements will be sent to participants before the event.
Although the tournament was initially over-subscribed, following a number of late withdrawals the entry was reduced to 13 on the day, which made the original plan to run two independent blocks impractical. It was therefore decided to have instead just a single block using a semi-flexible Swiss format, biased where practical to match players with handicaps above zero against each other, with the winner going to the player with the largest percentage of wins from a minimum of 5 games, and which included a virtual 'B' block with the prize going to the player with handicap above zero with the largest net index point gain.

The first day was played in fine, sunny weather. It started with an upset when the defending champion Nigel Polhill lost his first game to Charlie Martin. Nigel's woes then continued a little later when faulting a slightly hampered roquet after 2-back in the middle of a tp against Simon Hathrell. This allowed Simon an easy start for his own attempt at a tp, which he duly completed. Meanwhile Bryan Harral had a solid run, including a crucial +12 against David Marsh, to end the first day as the only player on 3 wins.

The weather forecast had suggested that wet weather gear would probably be needed for the second day, but to everyone's surprise it remained dry all day, and the sun even managed to put in a few brief appearances. Bryan extended his lead with a convincing +24 win over Charlie Martin while Nigel despatched Geoff Johnson, and so Bryan and Nigel met in the next round. This proved to be a close encounter in which Bryan pegged out one of Nigel's balls to leave a 3-ball ending with Bryan on 1 and peg vs Nigel on 4-back and box. Nigel missed several long shots while Bryan made steady progress with his backward ball, eventually picking up a 3-ball break. He approached rover off Nigel's ball... and failed a short angled hoop. So Nigel picked up a simple 3bb with which he finished to win +3 and give Bryan his first loss.

Meanwhile John Gosden, one of the two highest handicappers in the entry, was having a particularly good tournament. By the last round he was on 3/4, his only loss having been against Nigel on the first day, while Bryan was still in the lead on 4/5. David Marsh was also on 3/4 but had lost to Bryan on the previous day, so David took on Nigel and a game between Bryan and John G would be the other critical contest since all the others had at most 2 wins. David beat Nigel with a comfortable +25tp, breaking a run of failed tp attempts, and set up a potentially awkward situation to determine the winner if John could beat Bryan. A tie-breaking analysis concluded that John would win the title by a narrow margin on the third tie-breaker if he beat Bryan. Given the big difference in handicaps Bryan was the clear favourite, but John was on top form and defied expectations to keep a lead, eventually making it to 4-back and peg while Bryan still trailed on 4-back and 1, until Bryan finally picked up a break which he managed to take round and peg John out. John's shooting was excellent, and twice he hit in with long shots, but twice failed to run 4-back from his approach, so in his second consecutive 3-ball ending Bryan eventually won to take the title. John's consolation was that he had still done enough to win the virtual 'B' block anyway.

Report by Simon Hathrell